Building Public Trust

Measuring the difference we make

Our duty of care for the public is central to our Charter and change programme. In June 2018 therefore, we published our first Public Trust Index, which for the first time measures the elements of insurance that are important to consumers and relates it to their values.


This was of critical importance to the CII as we now have a benchmark for the delivery of our Charter purpose, by better understanding the consumer’s level of confidence in our united profession and the areas for improvement. It also clearly had relevance to understanding our progress on the four components of the insightful leadership theme from the Strategic Manifesto, namely: modern ethics, international, talent and diversity, and insuring futures.

For the index to be meaningful it needed to be consumer-driven, so we started with in-depth research with 24 customers, a number of who had been through a claims process. We wanted to capture how customers thought about insurance in their own terms, rather than through the categories that insurers might be interested in. We therefore asked this group not only about their experience of insurance but also what values were important to them. The research was focused on a targeted range of products – motor, travel and home insurance for consumers, and liability and property insurance for small businesses.

From this work, we distilled nine building blocks of trust that shape the customer experience – six focused on buying and holding, and three on claims:

We conducted a pilot survey that fed into the main survey of 2,000 consumers and 1,000 small businesses, who were given the chance to rank the importance of each of the building blocks and the performance of their insurer on each of the nine elements. The results were then grouped from overperforming; to maintain; to improve; to urgent action.

The key themes that emerged from the research were:

  • There are some areas where the profession is performing well – insurers are doing an excellent job when it comes to settling claims and keeping people protected, flying in the face of some of the popular criticism.
  • There are other areas where the profession needs to improve – insurers are doing less well when it comes to rewarding loyalty, for example the disparity between the pricing for new and existing customers in the personal lines market is eroding trust.
  • Insurers are developing ways in which they can have a richer ongoing relationship with the public (such as helping manage risk and telematics) and there are huge opportunities to grow trust in this area.




The detailed conclusions and recommendations were shared with members at the Network Conference in June and we are now developing a web-based tool that will enable members to ask additional questions of the research, specifically around the values that are important to the customer. This aims to enable the insurer to build a longer-term relationship by focusing resources on the elements that really matter to the customer.

To see our academic report on trust, executive summary and research, go to


Building blocks of trust ‘Buying and holding’ and ‘claims’